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European Year of Skills

SAFE project – Supporting social inclusion in adult learning via safe spaces

A consortium of six organisations aims to change how adult education and society perceive dealing with learning challenges that emerge from unsafety and inequality.

Safe Spaces in adult learning: Creating change with a board game

Adult learners can face a number of challenges, which may cause disengagement from the learning process. Among such challenges, issues like family problems or previous experiences in educational settings can lead marginalised groups to withdraw from learning activities. 

To help adult learners overcome such barriers, the SAFE project aims to foster social inclusion by enhancing learning opportunities through the creation of innovative tools. It focuses on developing safe spaces that go beyond physical boundaries, involving marginalised groups in designing a storytelling board game. One of the key priorities is the professionalisation of adult educators by equipping them with the right skills to establish and maintain safe spaces. 

As part of the project, the Safe Spaces for Learning Guide, the S.A.F.E. Boardgame and a policy paper were created - all in co-creation with target groups such as educators, organisations and learners. The game – containing a board and multiple sets of cards – utilises role-playing and allows adult learners to work through several real-life challenges and acquire skills to deal with them. Thanks to the game and guide, educators can also improve their conflict resolution skills and develop their abilities to create inclusive learning environments.  

Testimonies from the team and participants of the pilots 

Participants of the pilot said that the game is likely to fuel social inclusion – not only by developing relevant skills in adult educators, but also by reinforcing their empathy. “Sometimes we do not understand how many challenges different people may face, not only because of their social status but because of their culture, character or experience. It becomes so much more visible through a game” – said an educator from Albania. Many also stressed the flexible character of the game and the possibility to adapt it to various groups and circumstances. According to a civil society representative from Belgium, “This is a game that will keep on evolving. The fact that we can be independent on using […] only some of the cards […] is the actual added value.”  

According to Angeliki – a 28-years-old adult educator from Greece and manager of the project at EAEA – the pilot already managed to create change: “The experience led to a tangible shift in understanding, extending safety beyond physical security to relational aspects of co-existing and learning”.  

Are you a teacher, an educator, or another professional working with adults? Would you like to see a change on how we perceive social inclusion? If so, make sure to check out the game and the guide here.


The project was implemented by the SAFE consortium, coordinated by EPATV and comprised of the EAEA, DAFNI KEK, VHS lernraum, ICAE, and PATATRAC. It benefitted from EU funding under the Key Action 2 of Erasmus+ program “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices”. The funding facilitated collaboration, dissemination, and the development of materials and events, as well as project management activities dealing with the multifaceted nature of the undertaking.